According to the American Kennel Club, Rottweilers and Boxers both made the cut of the top 20 most popular breeds in the United States last year.
And that’s not without good reason! Both breeds are smart, loyal, affectionate, and they make great household pets.
But what about together? Do Rottweilers and Boxers get along?
Because of their similar personalities and shared characteristics, Rottweilers and Boxers can get along very well together, especially if they’re introduced carefully and calmly. However, before you commit to a Boxer companion for your Rottweiler, there are a few precautions you need to be aware of as well.
Let’s take a look at why and how these two great breeds can be good playmates and companions for each other.
Where Did Both of These Breeds Come From?
Before deciding whether two breeds are likely to get along, it’s always best to look at their history. When and why were these dogs originally bred? Do they have any shared “jobs” that would help them get along better?
Rottweilers were initially bred in Germany as what we call “drover” dogs. This meant that they were working dogs with the primary job of herding cattle. In the early 1800s, their job description changed to include being guard dogs, police dogs, and even search-and-rescue dogs. Rottweilers have done almost every canine job there is including working as all-around farm dogs and even hunting dogs in some rare cases.
Although many Rottweilers today still serve in these capacities, most live in households as beloved family pets.
Boxers also originated in Germany, but that’s where the similarities between these two breeds’ history end.
The ancestors of our modern-day Boxers were initially used for big-game hunting before also being trained as watchdogs, cattle dogs, and service dogs. Today, they consistently rank on the list of the top 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.
Even though Rottweilers and Boxers come from very different backgrounds, these dogs do have the potential to get along very well with each other.
Beyond history, there are many important factors to consider when it comes to two dogs getting along.
Why Do These Dogs Get Along Well?
Thanks to the personality traits of these two dogs, these breeds have the potential to get along very well. Even though we didn’t include Boxers on the list of our favorite companion dogs for Rotties, they still aren’t a bad match!
Both dogs are fairly intelligent.
As any Rottweiler owner will tell you, this is an incredibly intelligent breed. In fact, leading experts rank the Rottweiler 9th out of 138 breeds in terms of intelligence. Although Boxers rank a bit lower, listed in the “average intelligence” section, they are still fairly intelligent dogs and will be able to keep up with your Rottweiler.
When you’re choosing a Boxer companion for your Rottweiler, spend a little time with the potential new dog. Is he eager to please? Does he know any basic commands already? Will he be a fast learner? The smarter your Boxer is, the better they’ll be able to find their footing with the very smart Rottweiler.
Both dogs have similar exercise needs.
Rottweilers and Boxers both have fairly high energy levels and benefit from at least an hour of exercise every day. That exercise typically includes walks or runs, play sessions, or even going to the dog park for an hour.
The good news is, Rottweilers and Boxers can help wear each other out to meet that exercise need! That’ll be less work on you to make sure your dogs are getting an adequate amount of exercise every day.
Boxers are typically considered to be more energetic than Rottweilers. That may be a good thing since Rottweilers are much larger–they’ll need that energy to keep up with their playmate!
However, realize that these two dogs have different tolerances for extreme weather and that can impact the type of exercise they do. The Boxer’s short, brachycephalic snout can make it more difficult for them to endure hot weather. On the other extreme, a Rottweilers double coat makes them great in the snow and they typically love a winter-time romp! Boxers just have a short single coat that isn’t going to give them nearly the same amount of insulation in cold weather.
So when it comes to both types of temperature extremes, a Rottie is better equipped and you’ll need to make sure your Boxer doesn’t put themselves in a dangerous position by trying to keep up with your durable Rottie!
Both dogs are pack dogs.
Both Rottweilers and Boxers are pack dogs by instinct. Although they can do well as only dogs, they prefer to be surrounded by other dogs in order to fulfill that pack drive.
Although both dogs will still need to be introduced properly and socialized well, it’s in their nature to enjoy being around other dogs. This factor will help them get along well from the beginning.
What Problems Might You Encounter?
Even though these dogs have a great potential to get along well, you may need to keep an eye out for these particular problems between the breeds:
There’s a big size difference.
Rottweilers are significantly bigger than Boxers. While full-grown Rottweilers can weigh as much as 130 pounds, Boxers max out at about 70 pounds. This could create some tension with dominance, especially when your dogs are playing.
Rottweilers enjoy rough play, and although Boxers are tough, muscular dogs, the Rottweiler might be a little too aggressive at some points with them.
In order to avoid this problem, keep an eye on your pups while they’re playing. If your Rottweiler is playing too rough or if your Boxer appears frustrated, it might be time to take a little break.
Both breeds love attention.
Both Rottweilers and Boxers LOVE attention, whether that’s ear scratches, belly rubs, cuddles on the couch, or a simple “good dog.” When put together, a Rottweiler and Boxer may engage in competition for your affection.
To keep both dogs happy, make sure you’re spending time with each dog individually as well as playing with the dogs together. That way, they won’t feel the need to fight against each other for your attention. Pay attention to how each dog shows affection and make sure you understand their individual love language!
How can I help my Rottweiler adjust to being around a Boxer?
Socialization and a calm, positive introduction are the keys to helping your Rottweiler and Boxer get along well but let’s break down a few other tips.
Both dogs should be well-socialized before they meet their new playmate. Make sure your Rottweiler has spent time around other dogs and understands “doggy manners” when it comes to first-time introductions, respecting other dogs, and play sessions.
Socialization is something that should begin as a puppy and continue into the dog’s adulthood. It’s the best way to help teach your dog how to behave around other animals.
Introduce them for the first time on leashes in neutral territory.
As any human would tell you, first impressions matter! The first introduction between a Rottweiler and Boxer is very important to setting the tone for the rest of the relationship.
Choose a neutral meeting place, such as a park, when your dogs are meeting for the first time. That way, no one feels territorial.
Also, make sure you keep both dogs on leashes and that each dog has their own handler. This will help keep you in charge in case something goes awry.
To start, allow the dogs to simply walk around on their leashes in the same area so they can get used to the sight and smell of the other dog. Then, allow them to meet directly and take their time sniffing and smelling each other.
Depending on how this first meeting goes, you’ll then be able to progress the relationship. Some dogs may need to meet in this way several times before they’re comfortable enough to proceed.
Monitor the relationship and offer lots of praise.
In the first few weeks of these dogs spending time together, make sure you monitor them for any signs of aggression, such as growling, raised hackles, or pointed tails. If that happens, make sure you discourage the dogs so they know aggression isn’t allowed. Your pups may need some time apart as well, as it can be a big jump to spending time 24/7 with another dog.
Additionally, make sure you offer lots of positive praise when the dogs get along or play well together. The dogs will pick up on your positivity. Both Boxers and Rottweilers love attention, so they’ll respond well to praise.
Why aren’t my Rottie and Boxer Getting Along?
Are you experiencing some difficulties in the relationship between your Rottweiler and Boxer? Let’s talk about what could be causing those issues.
Is there a big age difference between the two dogs? An older dog will have more trouble adjusting to a new puppy in the household and will most likely take more time to bond with the younger dog.
If you’re choosing a Boxer as a companion for your Rottweiler, it’s always best to do this when your Rottweiler is young. Remember, Rottweilers are significantly bigger than Boxers, so a drastic age difference will only highlight the difference in size and may trigger your Rottweiler to act more aggressively towards the younger dog.
If your Rottweiler is older, consider choosing an older Boxer so that their ages (and sizes) will be a little more comparable. Avoid getting a puppy that would require lots of patience and energy from your older dog.
If one or both dogs are not well trained, you may experience some tensions in the relationship. Both dogs should understand basic commands and be willing to listen to you quickly. If they don’t respect you, they won’t respect each other either.
The easiest way to solve this issue is to get some training for both dogs. Start with basic commands and then progress to more advanced training if you have need of it.
Rottweilers and Boxers are both very strong dogs, physically and in personality, and a tense situation could go south quickly if it’s not resolved. If they’re experiencing trouble in the relationship, figure out what the problem is quickly in order to help them get along better in the future.
Before you choose a playmate for your Rottweiler, make sure you take into account your dog’s personality, age, and background. With careful introduction, good training, and proper socialization, Rottweilers and Boxers can be great companions for each other.